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The Children's School

4515 16th Ave. NE
Seattle, WA 98105

(206) 523-6899


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based, Montessori

From the Director:

Montessori tools are used in the classroom setting, along with other puzzles, games, toys that the teachers find will best work with the subject matter being covered (e.g., Fall, Winter, Chinese New Year, baseball/Spring, etc.)

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language       more

More Information

  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
  • Montessori sand letters
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
  • Montessori tools (eg, number board, beads)
Time & space more

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  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
  • Legos, and playdough
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • These are different every year depending on the staff's inspiration
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • Dancing opportunities
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
  • Playdough, recycled materials to build with
Physical activity more

More Information

  • A playground with climbing equipment
  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • Tricycles
  • Enough room for children to move around and play and a suitable indoor alternative to the outdoor playground on rainy days
  • Sandboxes and/or water stations for play
Other subjects taught Yoga, wood-working and robot building. Yoga is a year-round opportunity. Wood-working and robot building are examples of some of the special event/project times for our Pre-K students.

From the Director:

Our classroom time is a series of stations designed to give our children a large selection of choices and learning opportunities through the use of Montessori and other materials. The stations are a variety of single, partner and team set-ups. Each child is offered and encouraged to try a large variety of experiences, and then allowed to have that experience to whatever level they are comfortable. Music and story-telling are done in small groups of children at a time, giving the children turns at musical instruments, to tell stories, to illustrate for us through dance and art what the experience may mean to them.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

A successful teacher at The Children's School is one who is loving and gentle in their communication with our children, their families, and other staff members. Teachers here observe their classes and students, tracking their interests, and sharing their progress through notes home to parents. If a teacher observes something they feel needs special attention, they first bring it to the team they are working with, and then the team designates someone to communicate with the parents, to allow the parents to share their own observations and concerns before deciding on the next steps.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Our mission is to assist and nurture the educationsl, social, emotional and physical development of young children in a healthy and caring environment. The Children's School builds on its log history of providing a child-focused environment in which every child and adult present is seen as capable. Learning occurs in an unhurried setting with a spirit of fun.

A Typical Day

Morning Classes (Ages 2,3 and 4)
9 - 10 am Classroom Time
10 - 10:30 am Music and Story Time
10:30 - 11 am Snack and Free Play Time
11 - 11:15 am Leave for the Playground
11:30 am Parents pick up from the Playground
11:30 am - 1 pm Lunch Bunch Program (optional)

Afternoon Pre-K Class
11:15 - 11:30 Arrive on Playground for Lunch Bunch (optional)
11:30 - 12:40 - Pre-K Lunch Bunch
12:40 - 1:45 - Classroom Time
1:45 - 2:00 pm - Music or Story Time
2:00 - 2:30pm - Snack/Free Play Time
2:30 - 2:45 pm - Leave for Playground
3:00 pm - Parents pick up from the playground

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

The Children's School uses a wide variety of methods to communicate with parents:
Monthly newsletter
Parent Lunch Bunch, a parent education opportunity held a few times a year
Emails from the school - to share upcoming events, news, etc.
Personal notes in the children's boxes with updates on their activities at school
Pre-K has a year-end Open House to showcase their work over the year - art as well as different skills using the special Montessori tools.
We have an open door policy for parents who request additional time to get to know how their child is doing - to stay later, or come earlier to observe their child in the classroom environment.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Go on field trips
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Voice Mail
  • Email
  • Special Meetings
  • Two or More Regular Conferences
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school


Separation is Handled through:

  • Small group sessions
  • Parents in classroom early on
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

The Children's School works with each child and his or her family to do what makes that family comfortable. Parents staying in the classroom, and/or in another room down the hall, and/or coming back earlier, and/or staying on the sidewalk and waving to the child through the window and/or notes written for the child with the teacher as "secretary" expressing their desire to be with the parent, and the notes put in their box to be read with their parent later that day. The child is not told they must act a certain way, or change their behavior within a certain time period. Their distress is acknowledged, and they are encouraged to participate as best they can. If after a time, there is not improvement, the child's enrollment is re-evaluated with the parents It may be determined at that time that the separation is just too great a stressor to the child, and starting preschool at that time may not be the best choice for the family.